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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
THE DALAI LAMA 69 Q: Often when I counteract hatred, even without feeling hatred myself, it seems to increase the other person’s hatred. How can I deal with this? A: I think that is a very good question. In such cases, we have to decide on the spot, according to the situation. This requires sen- sitivity to the actual context and situation. In some cases, you are right, by taking a strong countermeasure, even without feeling hatred, it might increase the intensity of the other person’s feeling of hatred and anger. If that is the case, then perhaps it is possible to let it pass and not take a strong countermeasure. However, here you have to judge the consequences of your response to a situation. If it is going to make the other person develop a bad habit of repeating the same pattern of action in the future, which will be destructive in the long term, then it may call for a strong countermeasure. But if taking a strong countermeasure will aggravate the situation and increase the other person’s anger and hatred, then perhaps what the situation requires is a kind of let- ting go, letting it pass, and not taking a strong countermeasure. So you need a sensitivity to particular situations. This is analogous to the Buddhist principle that, so far as your own personal requirements are concerned, the ideal is to have fewer involvements, fewer obligations, and fewer affairs, businesses, or whatever. However, so far as the interest of the larger community is concerned, you must have as many involvements as possible and as many activities as possible. The generation of anger or hatred, even for a single instant, has the capacity to destroy virtues collected over a thousand aeons.